This is a short essay showing the contrast in Frost's "mending wall" and Heaney's "scaffoling"

Essay by poolaxHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 2004

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Metaphor in "Scaffolding"

and "Mending Wall

Seamus Heaney's "Scaffolding" and Robert Frost's "Mending Wall" use walls as a metaphor of relationships however have different overall themes. Heaney uses "scaffolding" to exemplify the foundation relationships are built on whereas Frost uses a wall as an object of division between forward thinking, open-minded individuals and ignorant habitual sheep.

Seamus Heaney uses his poem "Scaffolding" to show the development and evolution of relationships. "Masons, when they start upon a building, / Are careful to test out the scaffolding." Heaney suggests that a relationship needs to be built gradually and tested to "Make sure that planks wont slip at busy points." With the scaffolding secure a strong and trusting relationship can be developed within. "Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall/ Confident that we have built our wall." When the relationship has progressed enough the scaffolding can be removed with the confidence that it will stand strong.

Scaffolding is the fundamental structure and framework that supports a wall as it is being constructed; like walls, relationships need to be built over time and have a strong foundation so that they can withstand the tribulations and problems that test relationships.

Robert Frost's poem "Mending Wall" portrays the relationship between the speaker and his neighbor and the division of habit versus the challenging of tradition. The two neighbors routinely meet each spring to mend the wall that separates their orchards. As they are repairing the wall the speaker questions the significance of the wall. "There where it is we do not need the wall: / He is all pine and I am apple orchard. / My apple trees will never get across/ And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him." The ignorant neighbor replies with his...